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Miami Herald - June 4, 2006

Come out to help revitalize Brownsville


Restoring a neighborhood that's experienced years of decline is not an easy task. Like some other neighborhoods pocketed around Miami-Dade County, the Brownsville community has seen drug activity and crime bring a vibrant, family-oriented neighborhood down to distressed properties and abandoned homes.

During the decline, some families fled the neighborhood. Many residents who stayed were afraid to fight back.

That's no longer the case.

There's now revitalization underway in Brownsville and residents are no longer ignoring the problems in their community but working together to find solutions.

For the past year and a half, Neighborhood Housing Services has been a major player in this community restoration movement by empowering residents to regain a sense of pride about their neighborhood and take steps to improve their surroundings.

On Thursday, NHS, County Mayor Carlos Alvarez and several other community leaders will take this effort even further by hosting neighborhood beautification activities in Brownsville as part of National NeighborWorks Week, a national project involving more than 40,000 volunteers and over 180 organizations across the country working to develop healthy communities.

During this time, NHS and Brownsville residents will make painting and landscaping improvements to several homes on Northwest 51st Terrace, Northwest 29th Avenue and Northwest 30th Avenue. The effort is part of our ongoing commitment to beautify this community.

What we're doing is important. The revitalization in Brownsville has not only increased community awareness and a sense of pride among residents, it has boosted the neighborhood's economic outlook.

Brownsville has a new park, a bank and a shopping center. Because of the action of residents, major improvements have been made to the community's infrastructure. There are new street lights, sidewalks and a new sewer system.

The work has been hard but the rewards are great. I applaud the residents -- our friends -- for taking their neighborhood back.

We invite you to join us in the Brownsville community during NeighborWorks Week. On Thursday we could use extra hands for the paintbrushes and shovels.

National NeighborWorks Week allows us to celebrate neighborhood change for a designated week in June but we are committed to community change year-round.

NHS is very happy to be a part of this effort.

Our goal is to turn a good week into a good life for the residents of Brownsville.

For more information about Neighborhood Housing Services and NeighborWorks Week, log on to or call 305-751-5511.